On 23 September 1918 Thomas Lewis Oakland died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage. Mom said he was at a church supper when he collapsed. Mom also remembered that because he had no life insurance and had not paid for the home on Somonauk Avenue that her grandmother lost the house and had to return to work at the age of 50. She worked in a department store, second floor women’s apparel.
Part One of the Sanderson-Oakland story can be seen here.
Part Two of their story can be seen here.
Another big shock to the family was the death of the Oakland’s daughter, Albie Duncan in 1927. During Albie’s illness, Mary took care of her three granddaughters. She became very close to the girls. “God’s Minute” was a birthday present to my mother in 1934.
In a note to Mom in May 1939 “It passes the time to get away once in a while now that my girlies three have flown away to their own homes. I sometimes wonder what I had better do now. But dear I have so much to be thankful for to know you are all happy.” Later that month she sent another letter and card to Mom when my sister was born – Mary’s first great grandchild.
My favorite part of this letter is her wondering if Helen has arrived. Helen is my mother’s sister who helped when all of us were born. She was a mainstay in our lives. I think it was a comfort to Mary to know that Helen would be there for my mother. I know it was a comfort to my mother!